Annual Survey of Service Industries: Accounting and Bookkeeping

Detailed information for 2002

Status:

Active

Frequency:

Annual

Record number:

4716

The survey collects financial and operating data needed to produce statistics for the Canadian accounting and bookkeeping industry.

Data release - January 15, 2004

Description

This survey collects the financial and operating data needed to produce statistics on the Accounting and Bookkeeping Services Industry in Canada. These data are aggregated with information from other sources to produce official estimates of national and provincial economic production in Canada.

The estimates are used by government for national and regional programs and policy planning and by the private sector for industry performance measurement and market development.

The data are produced as part of Statistics Canada's Unified Enterprise Survey (UES), the main purpose of which is to ensure Statistics Canada receives consistent and integrated data from many types of surveys and sizes of businesses with enough detail to produce accurate provincial statistics.

Statistical activity

The survey is administered as part of the Unified Enterprise Survey program (UES). The UES program has been designed to integrate, gradually over time, the approximately 200 separate business surveys into a single master survey program. The UES aims at collecting more industry and product detail at the provincial level than was previously possible while avoiding overlap between different survey questionnaires. The redesigned business survey questionnaires have a consistent look, structure and content. The unified approach makes reporting easier for firms operating in different industries because they can provide similar information for each branch operation. This way they avoid having to respond to questionnaires that differ for each industry in terms of format, wording and even concepts.

This survey is part of the Service Industries Program. The survey data gathered are used to compile aggregate statistics for over thirty service industry groupings. Financial data, including revenue, expense and profit statistics are available for all of the surveys in the program. In addition, many compile and disseminate industry-specific information.

Reference period: Calendar year

Collection period: November to August

Subjects

  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Professional, scientific and technical services

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of all establishments classified to the Accounting Services industry (NAICS 5412) according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) during the reference year. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing a range of accounting services, such as the preparation of financial statements, the preparation of management accounting reports, the review and auditing of accountings records, the development of budgets, the design of accounting systems, the preparation of tax returns and bookkeeping, billing and payroll processing services.

Instrument design

The survey questionnaires comprise financial characteristics such as sources of revenue, expense detail, employment characteristics and distribution of revenue by type of client. Based on contacts with respondents and data users, some modifications have been incorporated into the questionnaires in order to reflect the nature of the industry surveyed. The changes were field tested to ensure that they were reasonable and sustainable.

Sampling

This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The survey design is based on probability sampling and only covers the portion of the frame subject to direct data collection.

The target population consists of all statistical establishments (sometimes referred to as firms or units) classified as Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) during the reference year observed.

The basic objective of the survey is to produce estimates for the whole industry - incorporated and unincorporated businesses. The data come from two different sources: a sample of all businesses with revenue above or equal to a certain threshold (Note: the threshold varies between surveys and sometimes between provinces in the same survey) and administrative data for businesses with revenue below the specified threshold. It should be noted that only financial information is obtained from administrative sources; e.g., revenue, expenses such as depreciation and salaries, wages and benefits. Characteristics such as client base and revenue by type of service are collected only for surveyed establishments.

The frame is the list of establishments from which the portion eligible for sampling is determined and the sample is taken. The frame provides basic information about each firm including: address, industry classification and information from administrative data sources. The frame is maintained by Statistics Canada's Business Register and is updated using administrative data.

Prior to the selection of a random sample, establishments are classified into homogeneous groups (i.e., groups with the same NAICS codes and same geography (province/territory)). Quality requirements are targeted, and then each group is divided into sub-groups called strata: take-all, must-take, and take-some.

The take-all stratum represents the largest firms in terms of performance (based on revenue) in an industry. The must-take stratum is comprised of units selected on the basis of complex structure characteristics (multi-establishment, multi-legal, multi-NAICS, or multi-province enterprises). All take-all and must-take firms are selected to the sample. Units in the take-some strata are subject to simple random sampling.

The sample size for reference year 2002 was 532 collection entities.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Data are collected through a mail-out/mail-back process, while providing respondents with the option of telephone or other electronic filing methods.

Follow-up procedures are applied when a questionnaire has not been received after a pre-specified period.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Data are examined for inconsistencies and errors using automated edits coupled with analytical review. Several checks are performed on the collected data. These checks look for internal consistency such as: section totals must be equal to the components; if employees are reported, wages and salaries must be greater than zero; the main source of income must be consistent with the assigned NAICS code.

Imputation

Partial records are imputed to make them complete. Data for non-respondents are imputed using donor imputation, administrative data, or historical data.

Estimation

As part of the estimation process, survey data are weighted and combined with administrative data to produce final industry estimates.

Quality evaluation

Prior to dissemination, combined survey results are analyzed for overall quality; in general, this includes a detailed review of individual responses (especially for the largest companies), an assessment of the general economic conditions portrayed by the data, historic trends, and comparisons with other data sources.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Data accuracy

Of the sampled units contributing to the estimate the weighted response rate was 83% .

The sample of Accounting and Bookkeeping services represents 86% of the estimated industry revenues. The remainder of the estimate was derived from administrative data sources.

Since this survey was based on probability sampling the potential for error caused by sampling can be measured. A standard measure of sampling error is the coefficient of variation (CV). The qualities of CVs are rated as follows:

. Excellent 0.01% to 4.99%
. Very good 5.00% to 9.99%
. Good 10.00% to 14.99%
. Acceptable 15.00% to 24.99%
. Use with caution 25.00% to 34.99%
. Unreliable 35.00% or higher

The CV for this survey for reference year 2002 ranged from "Excellent" to "Good" for revenue, expenses and wages and salaries variables.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: